May 30, 2008

Vintage Cherries

I love today's card, it's so cherry.....I mean cheery! My card sketch today was inspired by a scrapbook layout in the Page Maps idea book. I just took a small portion of a layout and adapted it into a card layout. I couldn't wait to try this one. For supplies, I used Honey Pie patterned paper from Cosmo Cricket, the Itty Bitty Cherry and Cherries stamps from Karen Lockhart, Copic Sketch markers(from Ellen's store), Spellbinder's Nestabilities (from Ellen's store) and Papertrey cardstock and ribbon.

After choosing my supplies, I used my Copic charts that I made to find the perfect Copic colors to color the stamped images with. By lining up my solid colored cardstock and patterned paper right next to the Copic colors, I can find a perfect match every time. Here's what my Copic charts look like. I made simple charts by setting up a table in a word document with columns. I added every Copic color and filled in the colors that I have.
I inserted my charts into page protectors, both front and back, and keep them right next to my stamping table for easy reference. I attach mine to this *clothespin line* I created with wood trim and clothespins. It hangs with cup hooks from a metal shelving unit.
Now onto the card. If you look back at the card layout, you will notice that one of the blocks on the card looks like a tag of some sort, tucked under the horizontal strip. I created my tag by placing a strip of cardstock into an oval Spellbinder's Nestabilities Template. I only wanted one part to have the oval cut so one side of the die is placed to cut the cardstock and the other is placed under the cardstock so that it will not cut. Of course, this all was flipped when I ran it through the Wizard die cutting machine. Before I cut, I made sure that my stamped image would fit onto the cardstock. I simply placed the wood stamp on the paper to make sure the width of the paper was wide enough. I then cut and embossed the partial oval. Then I wanted to color the cherries. I started with the Itty Bitty Cherries to show you how to start. I always, always start with a lighter shade. Even though ripe cherries are not pink, you want the pink undertone to be the first layer so that you can build the color. You can always add color but it's harder to take it away.
After getting all the cherries colored pink, I added red to the left sides of the cherry. I continued to blend back and forth with my pink and red markers until the cherries looked like the ones on the Itty Bitty Cherry stamp.
Then I wanted to add a highlight to each cherry. I took my Copic Colorless Blender marker and refilled so that it was nice and juicy. You don't have to remove the tips to refill your can simple squeeze some refill ink right into the tips. It soaks in little by little.
Then all you have to do is touch the sketch tip of the Colorless Blender to each cherry. Let it rest there for a few seconds and then the magic happens. The blending solution will actually remove some color from the cherries, creating a tiny dot of highlighted area. Cool!!! By having your Colorless Blender really inked up well, you get that nice saturation.Onto some distressing to make my card look vintage. The patterned paper from Cosmo Cricket that I chose for my card was aged looking so I wanted the rest of my card to match. I used Old Paper Distress Ink by Tim Holtz/Ranger and a cool new inking took that has a soft sponge applicator that velcros onto the wood handle. This inking tool gives THE softest application of color, I love it!! I inked up my stamped images, the edges of my card and some of the patterned paper to give it a worn paper look.
And tadaaa, here's my finished card below. I added a small Itty Bitty cherry image with pop dots, which was cut and embossed with a small Spellbinder's circle and scallop circle Nesties die template. I also added some polka dots (gotta love the polka dots!) to the top of the card with Papertrey's polka dot stamp set. I tied a little bow with snipped notches and added it to the bottom of the stamped cherries image. I just LOVE how this card turned out. I was able to incorporate lots of patterned paper and different design elements. You could easily stamp patterns or sentiments onto the two rectangle blocks where I have patterned paper. A sentiment could go on the horizontal strip also. For the tag portion, you could use pre-made shipping tags, etc. The possibilities are endless! Hope you enjoy!!
Well, I've procrastinated all I can this morning.....I have to go to the mean dentist to have a cavity filled. I DO NOT want to go and cannot wait for noon to get here so it's all over. I'm pouting like a little kid about the whole thing!! Waaaaa!!!

May 29, 2008

Soybean Summer Salad

Radiatore pasta is simple pasta but in the shape of a radiator. If you click on this link and scroll down, you can see what it looks like. It holds the dressing really well.

Edamame is simply soybeans. Pronounced (ěd'ə-mä'mā) or like this: "ed-uh-ma-may" . My good friend Marcia let me know that you can also find the shelled variety in the organic section of the grocery store. My store did not carry this though.

Lastly, for the poster who requested the Hot Peach Jam recipe. I tried to shoot you an email but it came back. That is my one and only secret recipe that I do not share. I enter it in competitions so I like to keep it under cover. Sorry about that girls!

As you all know, I DO LOVE to find new recipes. My mom and dad went to a Memorial Day potluck and she brought home a little sample of this pasta salad. It was SO good, I had to have the recipe. My mom's friend scribbled it on a piece of paper she had in her purse.....and right away I made it into a new recipe card. I named the recipe Soybean Summer Salad. I've never tried soybeans (edamame) in a recipe so this was a new one for me. You purchase the edamame in the frozen foods section of your grocery store. I bought a Steamers brand bag...they come with the pods still on. You just steam them in the bag, in the microwave, rinse them under cold water and then shell the beans out. The beans are kind of firm and have a little *bite* to them....and they're full of good fiber! I hope you try this recipe. If you want good recipes, all you have to do is go to pot luck!! There are so many good cooks out there!

For my recipe card, I used Karen Lockhart's stamp called Pasta with Peas. Now I know that soybeans aren't peas....but I don't think there's a real market for soybean stamps so we'll have to improvise! LOL! I thought the pea pods looked close enough to the soybeans in the shell and there is pasta too! The script font I use on my recipe cards is called Creating Keepsakes Becky (Becky Higgins' hand writing) and the type font is called Autumn Leaves Nonmetric. Patterned paper is Basic Grey and brads are from Star Lit Studio. Cardstock is Garden Green from SU!. Recipe card measures 4" x 6".

Here's the typed recipe that you can print off:

Soybean Summer Salad

8 oz radiatore pasta, cooked
3/4 cup Kraft Cucumber Ranch dressing
12 oz edamame (soy beans) frozen
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
cherry tomatoes, quartered

Cook edamame (I get the Steamers brand that you do in the microwave) and shell the beans. Combine all ingredients. Chill, stir and serve. Yummy!! Michelle Wooderson May 2008

Hope you enjoy the recipe! My dad is a farmer and soybeans have been a plentiful crop for him for as long as I can remember. So I just love that this is a *Made in America* product. Let me know if you try it!

A little funny: Jordan kept getting the big bowl of this salad out and just dug in. She LOVES it....and she kept saying, *Mom, this tastes just like pasta salad!* She just kept saying it and when Eric came home to snap up what was left after Jordan's trough feeding, she said it again...*Dad, this tastes just like pasta salad!*. I said, *You little dork, it IS pasta salad!*. LOL!

May 27, 2008

A Whole Bunch of Cards

Edit: I totally forgot to add that the two Crafty Secrets cards were inspired by my oh so talented friend HB (Carol). She has such a unique way of putting card designs together. I just had to try some of her designs. You can visit her blog HERE! Tell her I said hi!!

I've been stamping up a storm......literally! Will the rain ever stop?

I have a lot of fun samples for today, starting off with Anna Wight's Cat's Life set from Whipper Snapper. I was really thinking outside the box on this first card. Those fishy images reminded me of one of my favorite sayings, *That stinks*!! I stamped the two separate images then added the squiggly lines for smelly fish and a sentiment made with Papertrey's Simple Alphabet stamp set. Paper is from Crate Paper. I love *every day* cards like this one....the kind that you just *need* sometimes for a friend or relative who's having a rough day. And these little kitties below remind me of our Frisky. She's as fat as a volleyball and just sleeps all day, all curled up on the porch. We're waiting for her to have her babies any day now, we hope. For these cards, I stamped the pillow image onto the striped patterned paper, then stamped the cat image on top of that. I cut out the pillow outline and where the kitty nestles into the pillow for some fun paper piecing. So the cat images are stamped onto the white piece and colored then I added the pillow. I added a grey shadow line beneath the kitties with a Copic Sketch marker. Patterned paper is from the SEI Dill Blossom collection. Sentiment is from the Cat's Life set and was stamped on Kraft cardstock, with Papertrey polka dots stamped on top. More fun cards that would work well for birthdays or to just cheer a friend up.
Switching gears a little bit, these samples below are made with the new Crafty Secrets stamp set called Bug's Life. I colored the image with Copic markers then added Diamond glitter to the wings for sparkle. Background paper is from a 6 x 12 Crafty Secrets Radiant paper pad. The three half scallops are made from a cut and embossed Spellbinder's Die Template.
And this card makes the perfect baby card or maybe a birthday card for a little toddler. The image is tiny and simply adorable....a little bug in her buggy carrying her teddy bear. I colored the image with Copic markers and also added glitter to the wings. Background paper is from the Crafty Secrets Pastels 6 x 12 paper pad. Ribbon from Papertrey.
Here's the inside of the card. The paper was just so cute, I couldn't resist adding it to the inside of the card.
I also wanted to show you some stationery that Josey made . I gave her a sketch to work with and she came up with the rest. She picked the cute little Itty Bitty fishbowl stamp from Karen Lockhart, the fishy paper from K and Company and the sentiment from Crafty Secrets. I thought they turned out SO, SO cute. These went right into our notecard basket to use this summer.Here's a closeup of the fish bowls. She used some sequins, Copics, Ranger Glossy Accents, Inchie Squares and Spellbinder's scallop squares to create the main image. I know Josey would LOVE to read all about what you think. And I'm also sure that this post will have Jordan begging for a little attention too so stay tuned for her cards I bet!!
Hope you enjoy! Have a great day!!

May 26, 2008

Notecard Portfolio

Hi everyone, hope you're sharing this Memorial Weekend with the ones you love. Today I'm sharing this card portfolioi ensemble I made for a quick gift. With the price of gas sky rocketing, I think everyone will get hand made items for gifts this year!!

I've been meaning to mention this....although gas prices are causing many of us to stay home more and order supplies, etc. online, it's very important to support your local scrapbook and stamping stores. Many of these shops are closing down due to online shopping capabilities and bigger craft stores moving into town. If you love to have a store nearby, support them all you can....send your friends there.....tell them you love their store.......tell them what you'd like to see in their stores. They need your business as well as our favorite online stores. I am lucky enough to have a local scrapbook store about 40 minutes from me and it is my all time favorite. It's called Scrapbooks, Etc and is located in Topeka, Kansas. I've known the two sister owners and all the wonderful gals that work there since the store opened some ten or so years ago...we've become friends and they always greet me with a smile. Hi ladies!! Okay, back to my post...I just wanted to give a shout out for the local businesses!

Taylor from Taylored Expressions sparked my idea for this stationery ensemble with some of her wonderful creations. I made a set of these simple stationery notecards (no fold, 1/4 sheet of cardstock for the base) for a friend for a quick gift. I used Papertrey patterned paper, cardstock, ink and stamps. By lining the envelope, the *boutique* factor of this little set increases tremendously.
Here's the set of four notecards with envelopes photographed below. Easy peasy to make but such a fancy schmansy little gift.
For the packaging, I made a simple portfolio of sorts. I folded a piece of cardstock like a book cover and added the patterned paper to the front. Add a stamped sentiment and some pretty polka dot ribbon and my gift was complete. Sorry I don't have the dimensions for the portfolio, I just winged it and put it all together quickly. The ribbon wraps all around the portfolio and ties on the side that you open. Sentiment was made with the Papertrey Simple Alphabet stamp set.
I need to create more little gift sets like this to have on hand. I don't know how many times I'd like to have a hostess, teacher or quick birthday gift. I can always package up a set of cards but I love the look of this coordinated ensemble. I'm adding this to my list of things to do. Hope you enjoy!!

May 24, 2008

Apple Inchie Stationery

Edit: The size of the finished stationery notecard is 4.25" x 5.5", a regular A2 size card. No folds, the base card is a 1/4 sheet of cardstock. These fit into A2 size envies.

Hey everyone, how about a little Saturday night stationery to liven things up!!?? We had a garage sale this weekend and we are DONE! $800 bucks later, we are rich! There's stormy weather in Kansas and we're just kind of hangin' out tonight. Josey and I sorted all of the 47 state quarters she has, they are NEAT! Just had a Lean Cuisine turkey dinner and some fresh strawberries with Cool Whip and now I'm settling in to do a little blog hopping. Eric's putting tomatoe cages on our new plants so the deer don't eat them all. It will be good sleeping weather tonight..nice and cool!

Ohhh, how I'm loving the no fold stationery! For today's little ensemble, I decided to use Karen Lockhart's Itty Bitty Apple, some Inchie Art Squares, Papertrey Spring Moss cardstock, Papertrey Simple Alphabet, Copic Sketch markers, a 1" square punch, Momento black ink teardrop and K and Company patterned paper.
I wanted to make four notecards so I stamped and punched out four Itty Bitty Apple images with my 1" square punch. You can color right on the Inchie Art Squares too but I prefer to work on cardstock then adhere the colored square to the inchie. I took a photo of four inchies below to show you the progression of my coloring. I first started out by adding the lighter pink highlight first. This is where the highlight will be on the finished apple. Second, I colored the rest of the apple with my red color...I did not go over the pink. Third, I blended the two colors together with the pink color again and added my light yellowish green leaf color. Last, I shaded the apple with the red some more, did a final blending with the pink, added a darker green.....then took my Colorless Blender and removed some of the lightest pink color to make even more of a highlight on the apple. I also used a blue color to outline the apple to make it pop off the page.
Then I adhered my coloring pieces to the Inchie artboard squares, matted them with a Spellbinder's scalloped square piece of red cardstock, added two green sequins...and then as a final touch I added some Ranger Glossy Accents to the apples. If you'll notice the patterned paper strip, you can see that the apples and cherries are glossy embossed, the paper comes that way. By making my apples glossy I was able to tie the stationery card together by matching up elements. It's all about the little details! These apples are so shiny, they remind me of candied cinnamon apples, YUMMO I want one.
To finish off my stationery, I used Papertrey's Simple Alphabet to spell out the sentiment *Apple of my Eye* and then stamped it with red ink onto each card. Are they just not delicious???? I have decided to add a section to my stamp basket stash just for these stationery notecards. My friends just LOVE these!! There are no you just write a short note on the front of the card. I think these would be perfect to hand out to customers for thank you notes.........or how about teacher gifts, these apples would be perfect!!! These particular cards are going in my own little stash basket so that the girls and I can use them this summer.

As a little girl, I can remember having little stationery sets that opened up with the stationery on one side and the envelopes and maybe a few stickers on the other little plastic flaps. Anyone have that kind? I hoarded it because back then, supplies like we have now did not exist. These whimsical papers from K and Company totally remind me of those stationery designs I remember as a kid. Who knew I'd grow up to be a card maker!!

Here's my tip of the day: Teach your kids to address an envelope properly and put on postage stamps......and encourage them to hand write thank you notes. I think this is a lost art, however my kids ALWAYS send thank you notes that are in their own handwriting, envelope and all. I rarely receive thank you notes anymore but when I do, I sure remember it...and think, wow what a nice thing to do! Take it one step further and let your child stamp their own set of stationery. Perhaps they could make the inchies and you could assemble the cards. This would be a FUN, FUN project to do weekly this summer. I'm adding it to my list right now!! Woohoo, who knew a Saturday night could be so much fun!! Sooomebody stop me! (Am I totally whacko to think that making stationery on a Saturday night is a complete BLAST?!)

May 22, 2008

Geranium Card/Inchie

Edit: To find out all about Inchies, visit Ellen's blog post HERE.

Note: Tropical Blondies recipe is now posted with the teacher treats post. Enjoy!

My friend Bev issued a challenge to some friends for the Memorial Weekend. You have to use flowers and there has to be red on the card. I was up for the challenge! I decided to use Karen Lockhart's Geranium stamp..what flower says *RED* more than a geranium? Okay, maybe a rose. Anyway, I decided to do two projects and combine them together as a little gift.

I started out by stamping the Geraniums image twice. When choosing the Copic marker colors that I wanted to use, I got out my color chart and selected colors of red and green that were very close together on the chart. This is the best way to add Copics to your adding 2-4 similar colors to your collection at a time. This way, you'll be able to blend and shade like a pro.
After I colored two images the same way, I decided that I wanted to use one image for a card and one image for a plant stick with an Inchie Art Square on it. You'll see the finished projects in a little bit. I worked on the Inchie first. When you are working Inchies, sometimes you will use a stamp that is tiny and fits right into the square. But in this instance, I wanted to color the full Geranium image and then cut a 1" square from the full image. To do this, I highly suggest you invest in a 1" square punch. I take a scrap of cardstock, punch a 1" square and use this to find the perfect 1" piece of the stamped image, just like I've done below on the right side. I then punched out my 1" square. Before I adhered my stamped square to the Inchie Art Square, I colored the mat board edges with a red Copic. I think the colored edge just adds a nice touch to the finished piece. I then assembled my Inchie together and added a small scallop Spellbinder's cut square behind the Inchie. Here are my two finished projects. The card uses Cosmo Cricket cardstock which was cut with a large Spellbinder's Scallop Square Die Template. The main colored image was cut by hand with scissors and mounted on top of some Papertrey ribbon and little snippet of cardstock with some notches cut out. And this is a little plant stake that I had left over from my garden supplies this year. I covered the stake with patterned paper to match my card and then adhered the Inchie Art Square and added some ribbon.
I think the little plant stake would look so cute in an actual pot or basket of Geraniums or you could add it to some little plants like I did in the photo above. Give the card along with the plant and you've got a great summer time gift! You can find the plant stakes at any garden center store or Walmart.

May 21, 2008

Hawaiian Shirt and Copic Tips

Edit: Let's talk about what paper and inks to use with the Copics. These are my personal's all about finding the right combination that works for you.

1. Neenah cardstock from Ellen's store, it comes in 3 neutral shades.
2. Papertrey Stamper's Select white cardstock. Thicker than the Neenah cardstock and makes a great base card too because of the thickness.

1. Palette Black Noir Hybrid Ink-my favorite
2. Brilliance Black Ink-smears sometimes for me but if you heat set it, it works good.
3. Momento Black Dye Ink-I just got a small teardrop sample of this from Eclectic Paperie and it's working great too.
4. Ranger Archival Black ink-haven't tried but I know that a lot of stampers like this too

Hey everyone, thank you for the nice comments on my teacher treats! I will post the recipe as soon as I get a few extra minutes, look for it to be attached to that post. I'm marking the final stuff for a garage sale and I've got to get it all done today! I'm sick of it cluttering up my house. Plus I need to make room for the goodies (more stuff!) I bought at the antique store for my birthday! I'll post that as soon as my hubby brings it home for me today!!

Okay, on to today's post. I have another manly card made with Karen Lockhart's Hawaiian Shirt, similar to another card I did earlier. I thought this post would be a good one to talk about stamps that have fine details and how wonderful the Copic markers work with them. As you can see in my finished card below, Karen Lockhart pays wonderful attention to detail. With this detail comes some tiny areas to color in so you need the right markers.
I use the Copic Sketch markers for all of my coloring. These markers have two tips...a brush tip and a chisel tip. I use the brush tip most of the time when I color. You can see below that with both the brush tip and the chisel tip, that you can get very fine lines up to very thick lines. This is where the Copics blow the other markers on the market away, in my opinion. If you look at the shirt image I stamped off, you can see the very small details. And look at the sharp point on the Copic marker. That fine point is what enables you to color in those tiny spaces with ease. You can easily keep inside the lines and your images turn out fabulous!!!
Another great thing about the Copic brush tip is that they are very pliable and flexible. You can squish them all around while blending, etc and the tip always goes right back into it's shape.
Here's a comparison of two markers, the Copic Sketch marker on the bottom and another leading brand marker on the top. I hope you're able to zoom in on this photo because you can really see the difference in the two marker tips. The top marker is a new marker but the tip just didn't stay pointy and sharp. I've used that bottom Copic marker dozens and dozens of times and it still looks brand new. Awesome!!
So if you're on the fence about Copics, I know where you're coming from. They do cost more than other markers. But once you use the Copics and learn about the QUALITY, there is truly no comparison. The tips are replaceable, the markers are refillable, you can use them with the airbrushing system, you can blend marker to marker without contamination.......and so much more. If you love to color in images, I highly suggest you try out the Copic markers. Purchase a few colors in the same three shades of green....and give them a try. They are like no other marker out there!! You can purchase your Copics at Ellen's store HERE!

And I just booked my flight for Chicago CHA so I am ready to travel!! I will be working half days at the Copic booth so if you're going to be at CHA, be sure to come visit me. I'll be working with Marianne from Copic, Debbie Olson and Kathy Sanders.

May 20, 2008

Last Day of School Treats

Here's the recipe girls, enjoy!!!

Tropical Blondies

from Michelle Wooderson 5/08

½ cup butter or margarine
½ cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon pineapple juice
6 oz white chocolate chips
6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
½ cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
½ -3/4 cup coconut

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and shortening. Gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg; mix well. Combine flour, soda and salt; add to creamed mixture. Blend in extracts and pineapple juice. Stir in white and chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Cover and chill 1 hour. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet, or spread into 10 x 15 cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes for cookies or 20-22 minutes for bar cookies...until lightly browned. Note: For my bar cookies, I did not chill the dough first and they turned out just fine. Enjoy!

Today is the LAST DAY of school for my girls (we start mid August). The girls are very excited and so am I! But don't think that I'm not going to enjoy my last day of *freedom* at home by myself today. I'm going to put away my birthday finds from yesterday and enjoy the day by myself......thank you for all the birthday wishes too!!

So I dropped treats off after school yesterday for all of the girls' teachers. There were about 11 of them that the girls wanted to bring goodies for. Many times I get asked by my friends (who call themselves *slacker moms*).......*how do you get all of this so organized and to school on time AND it looks so cute?*. Well there is a method to the madness and it's really quite simple. It's all about pre-planning and breaking little tasks into steps. I'll show you what I did for these cute treat sacks. So here's help for all of the *slacker moms* who can never quite get it can do it!!

First, plan what you want to do. I knew I wanted to bring a simple treat for the teachers for the last day of school. So I made a list of the number of teachers and what type of cookie I might want to make. Nooooo, I don't just get up at 5am on the day I want to bring treats, I plan it all out. I am NOT a 5am kind of gal. I made up this list while sitting at a softball practice.
Then I decided what my packaging would be. I wanted to keep it simple because I knew the wrapper would be trashed, most likely. So I set out to make 13 treat sacks. I chose to use the Papertrey glassine sacks. I have used these types of little goodie sacks for years and I just love them! Now you can get them in smaller quantities from Papertrey. I also decided to make a simple but gourmet looking label to attach to the sack. I created my label from Papertrey's Holiday Treats stamp set and then mounted them on Spellbinder's oval rectangles. Paper and ribbon are Summer Sunrise colors from PT. I made these labels up about a week ago...took about 30 minutes.
Here's a closeup of the labels. I wanted to use a bright, sunny color...thinking of summer time, sunshine, etc. When I work on projects to use for another day, I set them aside in little baskets or boxes. This old box was a junk store find. I set this on a shelf, away from my work space. Little tip....only work on one project at a time. Clean up when you're done and put away all your supplies. Then start on the next project.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon. I baked my cookies. Check out these yummy morslets of heaven! I so badly wanted the recipe for some Blondies that I saw on a Bobby Flay throw down. The recipe wasn't listed on the Food Network site though, must be a secret recipe of the other contestants. So I concocted my own........I call them Tropical Blondies. Packed full of white and dark chocolate chips, coconut, macadamia nuts, coconut extract and a smidgen of pineapple juice. I can share the recipe if anyone wants it......I have to write it all down before I forget.
So then I cut my Tropical Blondies into HUGE rectangles so that each teacher would get a nice sized cookie. I stored them in a Tupperware container to keep them soft and fresh til Monday. The girls and Eric kept nibbling on my treats so I had to make a second batch to appease them. My mom was a taste tester too and insisted on the recipe.....a *keeper* as Eric says!
Then yesterday afternoon, I got out my already prepared supplies and assembled my treat sacks. I simply added a cookie to each treat sack, punched a hole, added the ribbon, and attached a label with one SU! dimensional to each sack. Easy peasy and I was done!! Don't they look all gourmet like???

I nestled all my treats into one of those expensive Longaberger baskets that I lovingly purchased oh so many years ago......before I had kids.......when I had money to spend on other things than softball shoes, field trips and lunch bills. And then yesterday afternoon I was off like Little Red Riding Hood on her way to Grandmother's house. I took the treats to school, the girls handed them out and the teacher's were nearly drooling at the sight of my goody basket.....they know the good stuff is coming when they see me carrying a basket!! Soooooooo, another good school year comes to an end. Summer here we come!!!!!!!! I'm off to enjoy a cup of coffee.......all by myself......maybe with a leftover Tropical Blondie........ahhhhhhhhhh, one last day of freedom!!

May 17, 2008

Pile of Socks!

Yesterday was a typical school day for me and the girls. They were scurrying around getting ready for the bus and I was getting on them to pick a few things up before they left for school. You know the typical mom routine...."pick this up, pick that up, quit leaving your stuff laying around". It's our job, right? Well fast forward 30 minutes....I went downstairs to work on some cards and this is what I saw.........a huge pile of socks laying on my stamp table!! I just had to laugh because sock folding is a major issue in our house. I refuse to fold socks! I'll do every other stitch of laundry in the house but all socks get left in the laundry basket sitting by the dryer. So I had to chuckle when I found this pile of socks on my table this morning! Guess I needed to get busy and get them put to use! Before I get to the cards, I wanted to explain to some newbies what the Spellbinder's Nestabilities are. This is a photo of the Nesties below. They come in sets of 5-6 metal die templates in straight line or scallop shapes. These are samples of two of the square Nesties. The straight line dies can cut shapes and then you also have the capability of embossing the shape, as you can see on the white square. Then you can cut larger or smaller shapes that *nest* into one another. The white square below sits nicely on top of the brown scallop square. The possibilities are really endless as to the combinations you can create. There all kinds of shapes now too......squares, circles, rectangles, ovals......and now skinny ovals and megabilities (larger,longer rectangles).....paislies, hearts, stars. They are a necessity in my stamp room, a tool I reach for over and over again. You can check them out at Ellen's online store and her blog.
Now onto my cards...all of the cute socks were stamped and colored with Copic markers. The name of the stamp is Warm Socks, another cute creation from Karen Lockhart. And more manly cards, woohoo!! I found the perfect sentiment from my AMuse collection, it says *have a scent-sational day!* This is another great layout that uses two patterned papers. The papers I chose are from Crate Paper. Then there is a horizontal strip that runs underneath the main image. This is where the sentiment goes. Love this layout and can't wait to use it more.
And here's some more of my postage stamp layouts. Simple layout with the main image posing as a *postage stamp* by sitting up in the top right hand corner.
Again, I left my cards blank on the inside. I put these into my Father's Day stash for now...and if they don't all get used up, then they'll go into the male birthday stash. Hope you're enjoying the manly cards. I am just tickled to have some fun new images to work with.

May 15, 2008

Mass Production Help

Happy Thursday everyone!! Yesterday I worked 6 hours outside....weeding, tilling, planting. It felt SO good to be out in the wonderful sunshine!! I'm all done until I can get to town for some mulch, so I'm working on projects!

To my surprise when reading your responses, I realize that many of you only produce one card at a time. And if you do mass produce (or make more than one card at a time), you typically finish one card then start over with the next card. Oh my honies, it could be so much more easy peasy than that! Let me help you. :) I'm going to walk you through my mass production process, step by by photo. Cardstock, ribbon and floral stamps are from Papertrey Ink.

1. I always start with my main image because whether it be a card or a scrapbook page, the focus needs to stay on the main stamped image and/or the photo. If I'm using a card sketch, I keep that nearby so I can have the layout handy. For these cards, I came up with the idea as I went along. After I choose a basic layout idea, I choose my stamp sets(these use Garden of Life from Papertrey Ink) and colors for my projects. After I get one image piece stamped out, I cut cardstock and stamp all of the other image pieces at the same time. For this mass production session, I'm making 5 of the same card. For these three flowers, I stamped the base pink flower circle first, then the darker pink swirlies, then the stems, then the leaves. Keeping that one image in your hand, then stamping all five pieces of cardstock really saves time.....when you're done, you clean the stamp and move on to the next image. 2. Then I cut mats and adhere them with the main image. Figure the measurements of the first mat, then cut the rest to match. By the way, I use Hermafix repositionable adhesive dots for most of my projects. Love it cuz if you mess up, you can undo the layers.
3. Next, I tied some ribbon around the stamped image pieces and added sentiments. YES, I used about a 12" piece for EACH of the five pieces. Remember that little talk we had about hoarding???? Use it, they make more! See those scissors? Those are my Ginghers and they are THE BEST scissors for cutting ribbon and fabric. They are mega sharp so be careful and keep away from children and all friends named Carmen. (My friend Carmen SLICED herself pretty good one day while crafting at my house..from now on, I keep the Ginghers away from my kids and stamping friends!) You NEED a dedicated pair of scissors for cutting ribbon...nothing else, just ribbon. I also threatened my children with BIG TROUBLE if I caught them using my Ginghers to cut wire, etc.
4. Most of the time I cut my cardstock base the very first thing....but for some reason, I worked a little backwards on this set of cards. When I'm working in mass production mode, I pull out my Tonic paper cutter. It will slice through several layers of cardstock with one cut. There's also no blade to dull...I like very sharp blades on my Fiskars paper trimmer so I try to save the big cuts for my Tonic cutter. Another little tip...if you score your cardstock first and then make the will only have to score one time, then cut the cardstock in half to make two card bases. 5. After I scored my cardstock, I stamped all five base cards with the CHF polka dot backgrounder from Ellen's store(I'm not finding the direct link to this particular backgrounder so it might be out of stock at the moment). I love to use the backgrounder stamps when mass producing. I lay the backgrounder stamp image side up on my table and ink it. Then I lay my base card on top, then a layer of scrap paper, then I gently use my hand to *burnish* the ink onto my card base front. This ensures a better transfer of ink. Then I reink and do the rest of the card bases. I also selected a strip of PT patterned paper to add to my card base. Here is where you can hoard a little bit by using small strips of patterned paper instead of covering the entire card base.
6. Then came the fun part......assembling all of the cards. As you can see, I used a few different sentiments on my cards. By simply changing up the sentiments, you can create a variety of cards but still use the same overall design. Another little tip...for most of my cards, I used black ink to stamp the sentiments. I think it makes the sentiment stand out and it just looks professional.
Here's some more thank you cards I made the exact same way as I explained above. Aren't the pastel little strawberries just darling. They're from the Green Thumb Papertrey set.

Okay, that's it for today! I hope you all get a chance to get some mass production stamping done. Make that birthday list and get all of the cards done in one stamping session. Or make your Father's Day card list and make those up in advance. You will such a sense of accomplishment!

I'm off to view my pretty flowers I planted to see if the cats have layed on them yet!! Or perhaps the deer had a picnic last night!! I hope not! Enjoy today's post and I'll be back to later to see if I inspired you. And be sure to send me your links to projects you make......I always try to visit the links and leave comments! Thanks for visiting today.

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